Monday, October 29, 2012

Richard Williams Seminar 23/10/2012

Richard Williams Visit

One of the benefits available to students on Marc Fish's furniture making courses is the opportunity to learn from other prolific furniture makers. Every few months Marc invites a guest speaker to give a seminar on their particular field of expertise and to talk about their own businesses and experiences of the industry. Over the last year we have had Charlie Whinney, Yannick Chastang, Rod Wales and this week we welcomed Richard Williams to 'robinson house studio'.

In the morning Richard talked to the students about his business and how he got started in the industry. In 1990 he set up his first workshop with what he describes as 'a bench, a few tools and plenty of youthful optimism'. From there his business has grown along with his client base and he now has a team of craftsmen making his contemporary designs. Last year Richard moved into his 'dream workshop', a converted barn in the picturesque countryside of Buckinghamshire, with ample space for machines - the envy of any cabinetmaker, myself included.

Richard's spacious workshop

For a number of years Richard was a visiting lecturer at Bucks College, speaking on business issues relating specifically to the furniture industry. For the second half of the day with us, Richard focused on this subject, offering students advise and information essential to starting up a business or workshop as a maker. The students put him through his paces asking plenty of questions to get as much as they could out of him while the opportunity was there.

To see more pictures check out 50 week student Thibaut's blog:

Latest Marc Fish Piece

The former I am making for Marc's newest piece of furniture is really starting to take shape. Up until now we have only had models and drawings to aid our imaginations but we can now get a true idea of the size and proportions of the real thing. We tried a few different techniques to shape the blue foam - using a hot wire and a sureform proved to be much too slow - and have found that the best way was to cut most of the waste off with a handsaw, then take it down further with the belt sander before smoothing with an orbital sander to achieve the the surface we want. Once I have finished shaping the former, Marc will then begin the process of fiber glassing it.

Student work

New starters Thibaut, Jack and Darren have almost finished their winding sticks and are now applying a few cots of Osmo oil.

Kris and Chris  have almost finished their jewellery boxes and have made maquettes for their next projects. Kris will make a coffee table in imbuia and Chris is making a desk in scorched oak. You can get an idea from the pictures what the final pieces will look like.

Thanks for checking us out, more next week!


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